Payments giant Mastercard has signed an agreement to acquire blockchain analytics start-up CipherTrace as it looks to accelerate and expand its cryptocurrency strategy.
The company says that CipherTrace’s security and fraud detection capabilities provide “additional transparency and support” for the digital asset ecosystem.
Mastercard plans to integrate the start-up’s suite of crypto intelligence solutions with its own cybersecurity offerings.
It says this will help businesses looking to build out their own virtual asset offerings identify and understand risks and to “help manage their digital asset regulatory and compliance obligations”.
Ajay Bhalla, president of cyber and intelligence at Mastercard, says: “With the rapid growth of the digital asset ecosystem comes the need to ensure it is trusted and safe. Our aim is to build upon the complementary capabilities of Mastercard and CipherTrace to do just this.”
Founded in 2015, CipherTrace claims its blockchain analytics platform provides insights into more than 900 cryptocurrencies and helps businesses boost their security and fraud monitoring activities for crypto-related programs.
“We help companies – whether they are banks or cryptocurrency exchanges, government regulators or law enforcement – to keep the crypto economy safe,” says CipherTrace CEO Dave Jevons.
The acquisition forms part of Mastercard’s wider digital assets strategy following partnerships with Uphold, Gemini and BitPay for crypto cards and its ongoing research and programmes surrounding central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) and blockchain technology.
Financial terms of the acquisition have not been disclosed and the deal is expected to close by the end of the year.